Beaches Turks & Caicos - A Family Resort
A photo of part of the resort from our snorkeling boat. This water was beautiful!
Beaches Turks and Caicos has been on my bucket list for a family vacation for a few years now. For the most part, it lived up to its hype. In case you haven't caught on in following this blog, we are a resort type family. We like daily housekeeping, having our meals prepared, swim-up bars, family activities, kid activities, adult activities, water sports, and more. Beaches lived up to all of this.
When booking a room at Beaches as a guest who has never been, it is very daunting. I did a lot of research, read many reviews, spoke with people who had vacationed there before, communicated with several travel agents, called the Beaches booking office three times, and even emailed the hotel manager. At the end of the day, I still wasn't sure I was booking the right room for our family. Beaches Turks & Caicos is set up as four smaller hotels (or villages) into one large property. In my research, I had found that the Caribbean and French Villages were older and the rooms were smaller. I knew this isn't what we wanted. (Although after seeing them, I think I would have been okay in the French Village. Even though it was the furthest from the ocean, it seemed like a good option if you wanted a more economical approach.) This narrowed our choices to the Italian Village or the Key West Village. On vacation, there are nights we like to put our kids to bed at 8:30; there are other nights, we let them stay up past 10:00. In many reviews, I read again and again that the Italian Village can be loud throughout the day and the night. This lead me to the Key West Village. Additionally, I read it was the “poshest” of the four areas. While some reviews stated you may not like the Key West Village if traveling with children, I did not find this to be the case. It was a great area for us.
We ended up booking at Key West One Bedroom Concierge Garden View Room. The garden view is the one negative I would say about the Key West area in general. Due to the way the village is set up, it is difficult to get an oceanview room if you are not in a butler suite. We were not looking for a butler suite room. The Key West Village is beautiful; I agree with other reviewers who say it is quieter. However, I do not feel it is far from “liveliness” on the property. The Italian Village was next door and an easy walk. Plus, there is a shuttle if you were to need it. The rooms in the Key West are spacious! In fact, our room had a full kitchen. I don't know why this would be necessary since the resort is all-inclusive. This is more space the resort could have used on the actual room (although it was plenty big enough)!
Kitchen in our suite
Living room in our suite and the day couch pulls out to a trundle for the boys
The master bedroom
The master bathroom
Garden view from balcony
Let's get the bad out of the way. As I stated above, we booked a Concierge Room. We are back home now, and I still have no idea what I paid for in terms of a concierge. Someone checked us in – that happens at all hotels. That same person did walk us to our room. It was a nice touch but not worth paying concierge (and maybe everyone gets that). Then we were told if we needed anything to call them. One time I wanted room service, so I called and was told room service was only included with the butler suites. Therefore, no food could be sent to our room. I wanted to know about the character coming to read a story at night to your child. (note: I only know about this thanks to Amy with Travel Destinations. If she hadn't mentioned it to me ahead of time, I would have never known it was available.) I had to call three times and follow up with the desk manager before I was able to schedule this. There is only one restaurant on property where you need reservations, so this was a phone call. Nothing difficult, I could have made that call. Supposedly, a photographer package of having a family photo made on the beach was included in our package. Not one employee offered this to us; no one from concierge called to arrange; no notice was left in our room. Transfers were included in our package, so the day before we were leaving I called the concierge desk to see what time we would need to be ready. I was told, “A package of information will be coming to your room later today.” We never received anything. The morning we were supposed to leave, we had to call again to ask. To this day, I haven't seen any package of information letting us know our departure. I feel we paid for a service with our room that we did not receive. I cannot recommend the concierge package to anyone at this time.
Back to the good → The beach itself was great. The sand was wonderful! The water was clear and such a blue-green shade. I could have looked at it all day. On the beach, you will be “hassled” to some degree by vendors who want you to go parasailing or book their boat for fishing. I learned not to make eye-contact and say no. These vendors are not part of the Beaches resort. Once you knew they were there and how to handle them, they were not a problem for us.
Look at this beach -- who wouldn't want to spend their day in paradise?
The kids' club had many activities for the boys. But the one highlight of their trip was the Xbox Lounge.
B in front of the Xbox Lounge
Everyday we played at the waterpark, play at one of the many pools, played on the beach, ate, rested, went by the kids' club to play games. As an all-inclusive resort, water sports were included. We went out on a boat to snorkel one day. We went sailing another day. TravelMan & M went on a kayak. It was the perfect definition of a vacation.
M & B on the boat about to snorkel.
Food at all-inclusive resorts seems to get mixed reviews. While I didn't feel the food here was outstanding. However, with 12+ restaurants and a variety of food, I do feel Beaches overall provides good food. M loved going to the place where "they cook in front of you." He even was asked to come help the chef!
M helping the chef with the chicken. He thought this was great!
On the last night, we arranged for Cookie Monster to come read M a bedtime story. B had heard about this option and acted like were for babies. However, once Cookie was there, he was into it as much as M was.
Beaches Turks & Caicos is a special place, especially for families. I highly recommend this resort. And you never know who you'll see when walking around the resort or who will show up while you are swimming at the pool. They could be some "real characters" -- so watch out! :)
Which two of these is not like the others?
One day we caught Oscar The Grouch walking around the resort.
TravelLady Rating: We would go back to Beaches Turks & Caicos. I believe we would stay in the Key West Village again or to save money, we would consider the French Village. This is a "splurge" vacation in my opinion -- not something we'd do every year.